Essay on Business Ethics

Submitted By nick71692
Words: 610
Pages: 3

It’s 10am Monday morning after a long holiday weekend. Everyone in the company is trying to get back in to the swing of things, and catch up on their email. You are head of IT Security, when you come across an email from a highly regarded director in the company, to one of his co-workers. You scan the email and quickly identify that he has violated the companies email and sexual harassment policy. You immediately become nervous and try to figure out what to do next. You clearly identified a major company violation but are timid to immediately report it, for fear of backlash on your end. Could you be in the wrong for reading his emails, even though you had access to them? Should you report this to the appropriate party, or let it slide?

In a situation, such as the one presented above, it begs the question, whether or not IT professionals are presented with an ethical dilemma as part of their everyday responsibilities? Over the next few paragraphs, we will use this example to take a dive further into this issue.

There are a few ethical questions every IT professional should be asking themselves:

Should I read the private e-mail of my network users, just because I have the ability to do so? Should email be read to ensure sensitive company information is not being disclosed to another internal department, or even worse, an outside party?

Is it okay for me to monitor the web sites that my network users visit? Is it negligent for me not to monitor those sites, to prevent the possibility of pornography in the workplace that could create a hostile working environment?

Is it okay to play key loggers on machines in the network to capture everything the user types? Screen capture programs so I can see everything that is displayed?

Is it okay for me to read documents that are stored on users’ computers or in directories on the file server?

Going back to the example above, each and every one of us has an ethical obligation to ourselves, other humans, our community, and the companies that employ us. As an IT professional, you have rights and privileges that other employees do not, and in many cases will be held to a higher ethical standard than others, as well as being accountable for a “call to action” that may be above and beyond that of other…